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(Axios)   The US consumer is shockingly resilient   (axios.com) divider line
    More: Murica  
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1605 clicks; posted to Business » on 21 Nov 2020 at 1:37 PM (11 days ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-11-21 11:06:23 AM  
I'm sure the people at the bottom would disagree.
 
2020-11-21 11:23:18 AM  

edmo: I'm sure the people at the bottom would disagree.


No shiat. "Average wages are up! Millions have lost their jobs, I'm sure that doesn't skew the numbers at all!

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2020-11-21 2:05:26 PM  
Uh huh, what do those numbers look like if you drop the top 1%?
 
2020-11-21 2:22:20 PM  
"We wanted every citizen in the country to be bankrupt by now!"
 
2020-11-21 2:32:36 PM  

NateAsbestos: edmo: I'm sure the people at the bottom would disagree.

No shiat. "Average wages are up! Millions have lost their jobs, I'm sure that doesn't skew the numbers at all!

[Fark user image image 425x197]


Are there no prisons? And the union workhouses, are they still in order?
 
2020-11-21 2:33:33 PM  

NateAsbestos: edmo: I'm sure the people at the bottom would disagree.

No shiat. "Average wages are up! Millions have lost their jobs, I'm sure that doesn't skew the numbers at all!

[Fark user image 425x197]


We all too often have socialism for the rich and rugged free market capitalism for the poor
 
2020-11-21 2:44:46 PM  
A country this wealthy should not have lineups this long just for the food bank.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-11-21 2:45:26 PM  
If, by "surprising" you mean not surprising at alland you also mean you've been lied to your whole life about how economics works then yes, qu'elle supreez, you stupid motherfarkers.
 
2020-11-21 2:50:26 PM  
Its amazing what you cam pay off if you stop going out to eat so much, and skip movies and bars
 
2020-11-21 2:56:38 PM  
You keep a bunch of people at home for two month, give a good chunk of them a raise while on unemployment, keep them out of bars, casinos and strip joints.  Then let them loose for the summer, they are going to spend.
 
2020-11-21 3:03:12 PM  

Ishkur: A country this wealthy should not have lineups this long just for the food bank.
[Fark user image 850x566]


It shouldn't have this either.

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2020-11-21 3:26:26 PM  
If "pandemic stimulus" was nominated for a Federal judgeship it would be on the fast track for passage.
 
2020-11-21 3:30:19 PM  
"They say the economy is essentially sound because people are considering buying things. That's like saying fat people are healthy because they might exercise." -- Robin Williams
 
2020-11-21 4:02:08 PM  
First slowly, then all at once.
 
2020-11-21 4:29:13 PM  
USA citizens LOVE to spend money and consume. It's their biggest past time.
 
2020-11-21 4:53:09 PM  

Korzine: Uh huh, what do those numbers look like if you drop the top 1%?


Roughly the same. It's bad for a lot of people, no doubt, but a lot of people who kept their jobs are in a weird place right now. The net effect of this pandemic on my household income was +$2900, and it cut my expenses by probably $4000 (maybe more).

I do just fine, but I'm certainly not in the 1%. There are a lot of people like me out there.
 
2020-11-21 5:08:19 PM  

Ishkur: A country this wealthy should not have lineups this long just for the food bank.

[Fark user image 850x566]


Look at all those fake poors with their cars. Why aren't they standing in line?

/s
 
2020-11-21 5:11:45 PM  

thurstonxhowell: Korzine: Uh huh, what do those numbers look like if you drop the top 1%?

Roughly the same. It's bad for a lot of people, no doubt, but a lot of people who kept their jobs are in a weird place right now. The net effect of this pandemic on my household income was +$2900, and it cut my expenses by probably $4000 (maybe more).

I do just fine, but I'm certainly not in the 1%. There are a lot of people like me out there.


My working from home has saved us an incredible amount of money. My wife lost her job in March, which was probably 40% of our overall income, and we are still staying ahead of bills.
 
2020-11-21 5:12:44 PM  
It's my money and I want it now!
 
2020-11-21 5:53:38 PM  

thurstonxhowell: Korzine: Uh huh, what do those numbers look like if you drop the top 1%?

Roughly the same. It's bad for a lot of people, no doubt, but a lot of people who kept their jobs are in a weird place right now. The net effect of this pandemic on my household income was +$2900, and it cut my expenses by probably $4000 (maybe more).

I do just fine, but I'm certainly not in the 1%. There are a lot of people like me out there.


When the pandemic hit, reduced hours caused 30% of employees to quit. Since working 32 hours a week didn't pay the bills. Then when things improved in June, those of use left had to work 12 hour shifts, working 56 hour weeks.

Pay didn't go up, just our forced work hours.

I was "lucky" enough to get promoted recently to a different department. We are capped at 40 a week, and my raise was only 13 cents.

Which is fine for me. Since I enjoy a healthy work/life balance, and not busting my back and joints every day. But yeah, a lot of us make more money since the pandemic hit, by essentially working 2 jobs.
 
2020-11-21 5:58:06 PM  

NateAsbestos: edmo: I'm sure the people at the bottom would disagree.

No shiat. "Average wages are up! Millions have lost their jobs, I'm sure that doesn't skew the numbers at all!

[Fark user image 425x197]


CNN: "President Trump drinks a can of Coca-Cola."
Fox News: "Great Leader Trump has declared war on the godless socialists of Pepsi."
MSNBC: "Russia was responsible for New Coke."
BBC: "Over 5 million Americans have lost their health insurance since the pandemic began."
 
2020-11-21 6:19:47 PM  

thurstonxhowell: Korzine: Uh huh, what do those numbers look like if you drop the top 1%?

Roughly the same. It's bad for a lot of people, no doubt, but a lot of people who kept their jobs are in a weird place right now. The net effect of this pandemic on my household income was +$2900, and it cut my expenses by probably $4000 (maybe more).

I do just fine, but I'm certainly not in the 1%. There are a lot of people like me out there.


Yep. And if your social circle and community are mostly people of the same sort, this whole pandemic recession has been hard to see.

Like, do you know anyone who has struggled financially because of the pandemic?  Who has lost their job?  I sure don't. I know a lot of people who had to change their travel plans, a lot of people stressing about their kids schooling, a lot of people taking advantage of the low mortgage taxes to trade up homes or refinance (we did the latter), but for all the doomscrolling, there hasn't been much economic fallout here. (Suburban Maryland)

It's like the "opiate epidemic."  You hear about it, but it's as out-of-sight/out-of-mind as Indian reservation poverty.

/Wait... the local Chili's closed. Not that I've been into one in the last decade.
 
2020-11-21 6:34:01 PM  
The first part of the article is sickening. "Don't expect help from the elected officials who got you into this mess in the first place. They have to go on vacation for basically the next two months."
 
2020-11-21 6:39:00 PM  

Likwit: The first part of the article is sickening. "Don't expect help from the elected officials who got you into this mess in the first place. They have to go on vacation for basically the next two months."


https://www.theroot.com/congress-does​n​-t-give-af-about-america-1845716037
 
2020-11-21 7:03:42 PM  
Don't worry, the new wave of lockdowns will take care of any small businesses that survived the first wave.  Government workers and big corporations that donate to the Dems will be just fine.
 
2020-11-21 7:29:46 PM  

State_College_Arsonist: Don't worry, the new wave of lockdowns will take care of any small businesses that survived the first wave.  Government workers and big corporations that donate to the Dems will be just fine.


You know what would be really nice for businesses right now? Having the virus under control. We chose saving the economy over saving lives and wound to saving neither.
 
2020-11-21 7:35:48 PM  

thurstonxhowell: State_College_Arsonist: Don't worry, the new wave of lockdowns will take care of any small businesses that survived the first wave.  Government workers and big corporations that donate to the Dems will be just fine.

You know what would be really nice for businesses right now? Having the virus under control. We chose saving the economy over saving lives and wound to saving neither.


Counter point:

Stock market is doing great.
 
2020-11-21 8:03:41 PM  

TedCruz'sCrazyDad: thurstonxhowell: State_College_Arsonist: Don't worry, the new wave of lockdowns will take care of any small businesses that survived the first wave.  Government workers and big corporations that donate to the Dems will be just fine.

You know what would be really nice for businesses right now? Having the virus under control. We chose saving the economy over saving lives and wound to saving neither.

Counter point:

Stock market is doing great.


TINA

Lots of cash floating around and there's nowhere to park it but in equities. Everything else is too scary and there's a good chance we'll see some inflation next year. The Fed is keeping interest rates low, but the long end of the curve is going to do whatever the poop it wants. Unless they attempt some kind of curve control, in which case buy gold and be ready to prostitute yourself for food.
 
2020-11-21 9:02:03 PM  

thurstonxhowell: Korzine: Uh huh, what do those numbers look like if you drop the top 1%?

Roughly the same. It's bad for a lot of people, no doubt, but a lot of people who kept their jobs are in a weird place right now. The net effect of this pandemic on my household income was +$2900, and it cut my expenses by probably $4000 (maybe more).

I do just fine, but I'm certainly not in the 1%. There are a lot of people like me out there.


Username doesn't check out.
 
2020-11-21 9:12:09 PM  

Bith Set Me Up: Likwit: The first part of the article is sickening. "Don't expect help from the elected officials who got you into this mess in the first place. They have to go on vacation for basically the next two months."

https://www.theroot.com/congress-doesn​-t-give-af-about-america-1845716037


Mind the size of that brush. There is a House majority and a Senate minority that would very much like to do things for America. But this is not 'Nam, Smokey. There are rules. And the rule is that the Senate minority can't do jack shiat if the majority doesn't want those things to happen.
 
2020-11-21 9:12:33 PM  

Bith Set Me Up: NateAsbestos: edmo: I'm sure the people at the bottom would disagree.

No shiat. "Average wages are up! Millions have lost their jobs, I'm sure that doesn't skew the numbers at all!

[Fark user image 425x197]

CNN: "President Trump drinks a can of Coca-Cola."
Fox News: "Great Leader Trump has declared war on the godless socialists of Pepsi."
MSNBC: "Russia was responsible for New Coke."
BBC: "Over 5 million Americans have lost their health insurance since the pandemic began."


Russia was responsible for White Coke though.
 
2020-11-21 9:34:51 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size


Well, this thread explains just how stupid everything is.

Sure, the share of net worth by the bottom 50% hasn't even reached 2007 levels, sure the total share of net worth of the 50%-90% crowd has dropped by 10% and never recovered in the last 20 years, sure the share of real estate held by the bottom 50% is about as low as it's ever been, sure the top 1%  keep holding more and more real estate , same with the next 10%, sure the total wealth for the bottom 50% keep going up while their share of the wealth keeps going down,

Sure there's more unemployed than the recession ten years ago, sure there's massive amounts of people lining up at the food banks, but since it averages out to look good and I can just stick my head in the sand and ignore any problems I don't see, what's the big deal?

And why do these minorities keep complaining about police violence?  It's quite clear they simply need to listen to what cops say, come up with a marketable and focus tested slogan, then maybe they wouldn't have these problems that are by design, extremely easy for me to ignore.

Since i'm doing okay at the moment, fark you I got mine.  Your on your own buddy. Hell, I can work from home, saving me money.  Why don't you just do your phoney baloney hospital job from home?

I know!  Lets cut more taxes on the upper earners while putting the burden more and more on on the lower income earners, since a rising tide lifts all boats!

And everyone I know in my small little circle is voting Trump, therefore if he doesn't win, it must be because of election fraud, there's no other possibility.

Sure the federal minimum wage hasn't had an increase in over a decade, but why the fark do you think I would care about low income earners?  Lol, quite clearly this inequality is benefiting me, therefore unless some marketable slogan comes along, I see no reason to get off my fat ass to possibly to anything about it. 

I mean why bother?  Everything's fine here in Suburban Maryland, what else is supposed to matter?

Just like the wars we start overseas, I can simply ignore it all.  Hell, if kids these days wanted to be able to get out of these student loans, maybe they should have known better than to have abused them by declaring bankruptcy way back in the 70s!  Even though none of them were even born yet!

Sure that may just benefit me at their expense, but why the fark should I care?  I'm comfortable and don't have to.
 
2020-11-21 9:51:56 PM  

pdieten: Bith Set Me Up: Likwit: The first part of the article is sickening. "Don't expect help from the elected officials who got you into this mess in the first place. They have to go on vacation for basically the next two months."

https://www.theroot.com/congress-doesn​-t-give-af-about-america-1845716037

Mind the size of that brush. There is a House majority and a Senate minority that would very much like to do things for America. But this is not 'Nam, Smokey. There are rules. And the rule is that the Senate minority can't do jack shiat if the majority doesn't want those things to happen.


Sure the Dakota's with their 1.5 million combined people have more Senators than all of California, but those were the rules designed in the 18th century.  What ya gonna do ya know?

Yep, there's no way one side will just blatantly break the rules in order to concentrate power into their own hands.  NOPE.  Could never happen.

There are rules.  In fact, the rules clearly state that when police abuses arise, we can simply investigate ourselves.

For some reason we keep finding ourselves innocent, but hey, those are the rules. I mean what can we possibly do about that?  Modernize them?

What next?  Your gonna ask for vacation and paternity leave as well?  Where do you think you are, Nam?

Nah, it's better to leave a 4 month window between the election date and the actual date the presidency starts, since it took 4 months to get to DC by horse, there's just no way we can modernize anything to prevent abuses.  Nope, better leave things the way they were designed to be in the 1700s.

I mean there are rules.
 
2020-11-21 10:10:17 PM  

Likwit: TedCruz'sCrazyDad: thurstonxhowell: State_College_Arsonist: Don't worry, the new wave of lockdowns will take care of any small businesses that survived the first wave.  Government workers and big corporations that donate to the Dems will be just fine.

You know what would be really nice for businesses right now? Having the virus under control. We chose saving the economy over saving lives and wound to saving neither.

Counter point:

Stock market is doing great.

TINA

Lots of cash floating around and there's nowhere to park it but in equities. Everything else is too scary and there's a good chance we'll see some inflation next year. The Fed is keeping interest rates low, but the long end of the curve is going to do whatever the poop it wants. Unless they attempt some kind of curve control, in which case buy gold and be ready to prostitute yourself for food.


Well. Mostly this. The first sentence is good, but then things get carried away.

The main thing is that YES, that money in the stock market represents all kinds of things happening in the world right now. Instability worldwide is sending a lot of money to US bonds, which just makes the low interest rate situation all that more robust. The low interest rates are sending stock prices higher to the point that Warren Buffett has to go shopping for stocks that have been overlooked for decades.

Then there is the 2 trillion relief package PLUS the relief packages that are expected in Europe and Japan and the US once Trump leaves office.

It is a big creamy mess. Mmmm. yummy cream.

So what does that do? It creates what has long been known as WEALTH EFFECTS. People are thinking of the stock market not as an investment anymore, or even a risky investment. A lot of people have made great gains, so they think of it as a piggy bank. A ready source of cash. The smart money is cashing out and using the money as a cushion. But the even smarter money is bragging at cocktail parties about how smart it was to buy Tesla at 500 and now it is 2000 (split adjusted) or whatever, and it is going to 8000 by April. So what do people do? Sell their Disney and Johnson and Johnson and buy Tesla, and they get "wealthier" because "there is no risk." It could happen.

So yes. The stock market is carrying a lot of people through the pandemic in different ways. It is fascinating to watch. People spend more because they think they have more money than they actually have. And when the bubble bursts, they will be suddenly overextended. Some people will lose everything. It would be wonderful if that did not happen until we are past the pandemic.
 
2020-11-21 10:14:25 PM  

Ishkur: A country this wealthy should not have lineups this long just for the food bank.

[Fark user image image 850x566]


Those cars look awfully nice
 
2020-11-21 10:25:37 PM  

Fano: Ishkur: A country this wealthy should not have lineups this long just for the food bank.

[Fark user image image 850x566]

Those cars look awfully nice


They will be just as nice and a lot cheaper one of these days.
 
2020-11-21 10:26:33 PM  
Those Margaritavilles aren't going to buy themselves.
 
2020-11-21 10:49:39 PM  

Fano: Ishkur: A country this wealthy should not have lineups this long just for the food bank.

[Fark user image image 850x566]

Those cars look awfully nice


Do you think the families are faking it?

You know, if you look at preppers... I think I have spent hundreds of hours watching them in countries all over the world.... you see a huge emphasis on "food security." Jim Bakker with his buckets of food and the Mormon idea of having months of food available give a lot of credence to this idea that we are going to run out of food. People are anxious about food. They do hoard it.

But people are anxious about money to pay for health care, rent, insurance, education, transportation, and all of those prices have been going up. Selling a nice car and buying another that is cheaper, less reliable, smaller, etc. is not going to free up much cash. People are stuck. They have bitten off more than they can chew. They have too much house, too much car, too many kids, and too many expectations. Maybe they have stocks, but if they sell them, well, they fall behind the guy next door and his barbecues where he brags about his google stock.

So here you are. "Honey. Let's go get in line for the food bank. Everyone else is doing it, and better that we go now before we really need it than wait until we do. We will tell them it is for your 70 year old mother."

Best assume that all of those people waiting in line "need" the food. But the meaning of "need" is going to vary quite a bit among the people waiting in line. Anxiety triggers "need" which triggers hoarding.

One more thing. After the earthquake of 3/11 in our area of Japan, there was a period of about a month before supermarkets were properly restocked. People were anxious, but nobody went without food. This idea that people only have three days of food is just dumb. I have a really hard time believing that a family of four will go through a minivan full of food in 7 days. But then I have a cookbook by a lady who fed her family of four for 20 dollars a week, so what do I know?
 
2020-11-21 11:07:05 PM  

2fardownthread: The first sentence is good, but then things get carried away.


No, I think we're going to see inflation next year and that will dick with the yield curve. All of the 'experts' on TV are saying deflation, but actual economists are saying the opposite. Thinking people will avoid spending and hold inflation at bay is a gross overestimation of the American public, and it also doesn't account for all of the Corona-related shocks on the supply side. Manufacturers coming back online are already reporting much higher prices for inputs. Don't be surprised to see oil around $65 a barrel next year.
 
2020-11-21 11:08:48 PM  

2fardownthread: the relief packages that are expected in Europe and Japan


You think Japan will get another relief package? I could see it for the service industry, but doing another round of $1,000 payments seems unlikely to me.
 
2020-11-21 11:11:08 PM  
From the let them eat cake department, one could also say the following.

OK. So we knew in March that things were going to be rough for a year. For all those people with a house and yard, you had notice before the planting season that there might be a difficult food situation. Maybe you lost your job. Your kids had no school. How many people planted a simple vegetable garden? How many people chewed up an extra section of the back lawn to expand it to grow some greens, tomatoes, peppers and turnips? Beans? Okra. That is all easy stuff and you can freeze it and pickle it.

Maybe there was a lot of free time, free labor, and enforced isolation. I bet 1% of the people who could have done that actually did it. I suck, but I did my usual beans toms peppers, and some basil garlic and potatoes. And jerusalem artichokes just in case tshtf. I guess that is why I have a hard time understanding suburban food anxiety. My yard is my refrigerator.

Yeah yeah. People live in apartments. People do not have free time. You can not grow milk, eggs, and hamburger helper. I know what everyone will say. But I also know that waiting in a car for prepackaged groceries is a lot easier than planning ahead and getting your hands dirty. And boy do we like convenience.

JUST SAYING. Flaming me is not worth the effort. I do not think people are bad, but come on.

/ garlic going in today. And some carrots and onions.
// procrastinating on FARK of course
/// .I have more green leafy stuff than I could ever possibly eat.
 
2020-11-21 11:17:26 PM  
probably because the poor where already in survival mode before the epidemic and where contributing next to nothing to the economy.
 
2020-11-21 11:38:02 PM  

Likwit: 2fardownthread: the relief packages that are expected in Europe and Japan

You think Japan will get another relief package? I could see it for the service industry, but doing another round of $1,000 payments seems unlikely to me.


I agree that the 1000 payments are unlikely. It will be other things.

You might be pleasantly surprised to hear this from me, of all people, but one thing that Europe, Japan, China, and the US are all going to agree upon is ... well.... let's call it a watered down Green New Deal. It will be a glass half full kind of thing, as far as we are concerned, but a lot of people will get something. You understand the political reasons for why this will happen in the US, but there are reasons that Japan and Europe will use it as a form of stimulus.

It might not even be subsidies at the retail level so much, but lowering of tariffs on solar from China, certainly, and maybe accelerated depreciation for projects. Japanese utilities might be allowed to start up more nuclear. Grants for R and D to municipalities for distributed renewable. Japan is pretty tight, but if a policy earns "a return" then it can get approval. New programs are being trotted out by utilities for heat pumps and other super efficient devices. Japan might be an early supporter/adopter of NuScale type reactors.

It will be coordinated along with fiscal and monetary policies, I think, because policies will be more effective if they all go in the same direction.

As you know, Mark Jacobson at Stanford is a big fan of 100% renewables. He has put his price tag on doing that in the US as 4 trillion dollars. I find that number interesting because that is a crash program, thought to be crazy extreme, and considering that congress is spending 2 trillion here and 2 trillion there for the pandemic, well, maybe 4 trillion is coming into the realm of "doable." Interest rates are crazy low. Maybe now is the time for Bill Gates to save the world. Haha.

Also, as you know, I am skeptical of the "will" of the average American to do what it takes for the environment, but as I said, a trillion here and a trillion there might make a difference as technologies and methods get cheaper and people start making better choices. Japan, Europe, Australia, and others are keeping their carbon taxes high, so adoption at the retail level is likely to be faster. All are likely to stimulate and regulate for greener economies coming out of the pandemic.

We'll see.
 
2020-11-21 11:51:50 PM  
We need to stop meddling with the economy and handing out bailouts to corporate interests.

Let the various industries; tourism, hospitality, airlines, leisure and restaurants collapse on their own.

The greater the fall, the more likely we will see radical change, when we reach the bottom, that will actually bring benefits to the average American.
 
2020-11-21 11:56:24 PM  

Likwit: 2fardownthread: The first sentence is good, but then things get carried away.

No, I think we're going to see inflation next year and that will dick with the yield curve. All of the 'experts' on TV are saying deflation, but actual economists are saying the opposite. . Manufacturers coming back online are already reporting much higher prices for inputs. Don't be surprised to see oil around $65 a barrel next year.


Well. I dont know if I could call it the "classic" sense, but generally speaking the yield curve analysis you are talking about gets thrown out the window in periods of high inflation. Or you could say that the curve would never invert and we would never get "stagflation." There are other reasons why I don't think yield curve analysis is going to be helpful for awhile.

I do not know who TV experts are, but they spout ideas, and most are half baked. A lot of them make no sense. The ones likely to be right are the boring ones, and nobody pays attention to them.

"Thinking people will avoid spending and hold inflation at bay is a gross overestimation of the American public, and it also doesn't account for all of the Corona-related shocks on the supply side"

I am not sure what this means. I would agree that "lower spending will hold inflation at bay" seems unlikely.

Yes. Many people are reporting higher prices. OIl at 65? Next year? 2021? I doubt it. If it happens, it will happen not because of oil appreciation, but a dollar crash.
 
2020-11-22 12:08:28 AM  

2fardownthread: maybe accelerated depreciation for projects


I hope you're right, but Republicans will fight that tooth and nail. They'll paint it as socialism and wealth redistribution despite the fact that fossil fuel companies have absolutely insane depreciation schedules and are allowed to write shiat off well beyond capex in many instances. Unless there's a drastic change in American politics (including centrist Democrats, who make a farkton of money from energy companies and military contractors), it will be up to other countries to make the necessary changes. America's brightest hope right now is the private sector. When China and Europe really getting rolling on their green initiatives, there ought to be a Green Gold Rush. If American corporations step up at that time, America will be pulled forward in the developed world's slipstream.
 
2020-11-22 12:10:28 AM  

AllCatsAreBeautiful: bring benefits to the average American


lol. You realize that America has legalized bribery, right? Can you outspend Exxon Mobil? How many lobbyists do you employ? Then no benefits for you, pleb.
 
2020-11-22 12:16:11 AM  

AllCatsAreBeautiful: We need to stop meddling with the economy and handing out bailouts to corporate interests.

Let the various industries; tourism, hospitality, airlines, leisure and restaurants collapse on their own.

The greater the fall, the more likely we will see radical change, when we reach the bottom, that will actually bring benefits to the average American.


I was a Hillary supporter, but in 2016, I saw two futures. Hillary would have run a system that was doing a great deal of good for a great many people. Institutions and systems built to solve problems were doing that, more or less. America was muddling through. Sometimes systems veer to an equilibrium and they can't get out. They get stuck because there is no powerful interest able to take them in a new direction.

The alternative was Trump. I knew he would crash things. And opinions like yours are certainly what one hopes would support the outcomes of revolution. That is the theory. But revolutions seldom work that way. Things often have to start all over, or they just do not start at all. Things get chaotic. And you get outcomes like Putin's Russia, or Castro's Cuba, or Pol Pot's Cambodia, Hitler, Pinochet, Venezuela, North Korea, or the Taliban, or Islamic Iran..or, arguably, the US, France, England, Italy.... all of which had their revolutions to create the modern state...

So let's gamble! America could be so much better! Well. I would be more willing to take the risk if the whole country were absolute crap and there was nowhere to go but up. But in 2016, the US was up near the top and marginally improving here and there. In 2020, well, come on. The US has its problems, but the US is.... let's just say in the top third of countries easily. Who could argue against that? Is it worth trashing that and maybe becoming the new Yugoslavia in exchange for the small probability that the US can rule the 21st century? Do the odds justify the gamble?

No. Certainly not yet. People getting jerked by the system or FEELING that they deserve better might eventually outnumber others. They will force everyone to gamble along with them.
 
2020-11-22 12:38:55 AM  

Likwit: 2fardownthread: maybe accelerated depreciation for projects

I hope you're right, but Republicans will fight that tooth and nail. They'll paint it as socialism and wealth redistribution despite the fact that fossil fuel companies have absolutely insane depreciation schedules and are allowed to write shiat off well beyond capex in many instances. Unless there's a drastic change in American politics (including centrist Democrats, who make a farkton of money from energy companies and military contractors), it will be up to other countries to make the necessary changes. America's brightest hope right now is the private sector. When China and Europe really getting rolling on their green initiatives, there ought to be a Green Gold Rush. If American corporations step up at that time, America will be pulled forward in the developed world's slipstream.


The GOP will have to be bought off somehow. We know that.

Yeah. I think you are right on the private sector. The thing you particularly will have to get used to is that businesses make decisions very differently from consumers. Amory Lovins is a freaking genius and speaks absolute truth to businesses. He points out that if they are motivated by the bottom line, then green makes a lot of sense. He runs smack into the wall of American shortsightedness in management, but he is admired abroad. Businesses can make a lot of money by using green technologies to cut costs. Dependability demands a premium, so utilities have been slow to adopt wind and solar.

The slipstream is going to be weird. Americans are going to have to get comfortable buying huge numbers of solar panels from China, and heat pumps and batteries from Japan, and wind turbines from Europe, and it might work out that the US will pay for that by exporting natural gas. Now before you grit your teeth and blow up, just realize that this is the next stage. Once the tornado gets started, then cooperation can continue and different developments will create new patterns. Costs will fall. Australia will cut its coal exports for good, but might export hydrogen and natural gas. Maybe it will start making its own steel because it has such cheap resources all of a sudden. What is costly now or costly 5 years ago could suddenly become dirt cheap.

And you know, maybe the US won't be leading this revolution. That is ok too. It is a natural resource provider wedded to the way things are. It is the rest of the world that is really getting sick of paying for this oil and gas forever and ever. The US has a lot of advantages, but it is the rest of the world which can't wait.

I am very optimistic. But things are going to get weird.
 
2020-11-22 12:42:52 AM  
Plant your gardens people! Go to Home Depot or wherever and get some garlic, onions, peas or whatever, depending on your area, and get it into the ground! You wont have to worry about watering or bugs or anything and come spring, you will have more food than  you can eat.

And if you don't do that, go get some beds ready for planting in spring. Start now to get your soil ready so it will be ready.
 
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